Any adoption not in accordance with law is invalid. The repercussions of which are felt at the time of the succession of the property of the adopted parents. Whether the child is legally adopted or not is a relevant question in determining the rights of succession of the adopted child.
Requirements for a valid adoption under Hindu Law
The person adopting should have the capacity, and also the right, to take in adoption:
This means that the parent/s desirous of adopting a child should be:
- Of a sound mind
- Is not a minor
- Has the consent of his/her spouse, if married, provided the spouse has finally renounced the world or has ceased to be a Hindu or has been declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be of unsound mind.
The persons giving a child for adoption should be capable to give him/her in adoption
Where any of the parents give the child for adoption, the other spouse should consent to it; unless the other spouse has finally renounced the world or has ceased to be a Hindu or has been declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be of unsound mind.
Where both the father and mother are dead or have completely and finally renounced the world or have abandoned the child or have been declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be of unsound mind or where the parentage of the child is not known, the guardian of the child may give the child in adoption with the previous permission of the court to any person including the guardian himself.
Who can be adopted
Any person can be adopted if:
- he or she is Hindu;
- he or she has not already been adopted;
- he or she has not been married unless there is a custom or usage applicable to the parties which permit persons who are married being taken in adoption;
- he or she has not completed the age of fifteen years, unless there is a custom or usage applicable to the parties which permit persons who have completed the age of fifteen years being taken in adoption.
Legal effects of a valid adoption
- The adopted child would have all the rights of a natural child.
- Any property which vested in the adopted child before the adoption shall continue to vest in such person subject to the obligations, if any, attaching to the ownership of such property including the obligation to maintain relatives in the family of his or her birth.
Any adoption which has been validly made cannot be cancelled by the adoptive father or mother or any other person, nor can the adopted child renounce his or her status as such and return to the family of his or her birth. The restriction is to prevent any mistreatment an adoptive child may suffer if the adopting parents later have their own child. You can hire top family attorneys in India to take care of all the legal formalities of child adoption in India.
Restriction to avoid physical exploitation of an adopted child
- If a male Hindu is desirous of adopting a female child, the difference between the adopting parent and child should be at least 21 years.
- If a female Hindu is desirous of adopting a male child, the difference between the adopting parent and child should be at least 21 years.
- This has been provided to ensure that nobody adopts a person, and abuses and assaults him/her sexually in the garb of adoption.
The legislation existing in the country provide for the international adoption of children, which means that Indians citizens. Non-Resident Indians and Non-Indians can adopt a child from India. The rules related to adoption in these three cases differ from each other. The differences arise due to certain factors such as; priority to Indians residing in India while placing a child, the regulations of the country where the adoptive family resides and Immigration laws. The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is the principal agency to monitor and regulate both in-country and inter-country adoptions in India. CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003. Consult the best family law advocates in India to adopt a child in India.
Law protects the adopted child
An adopted child is equivalent to the biological child in the eyes of law. He/she gets equal rights of succession in the property of the adopted parents. The aim of adoption law is to benefit childless couples who are not able to conceive or single parents who want to have children, along with giving a new lease of life to children who have no family to care for them.
The procedure for adoption, however, is rigid, in line with the sensitivity of the case. The welfare of the child is the ultimate objective of the courts in granting adoption of children.
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